With a background spanning from music to international relations, Harry White is a Director in the Canberra office, where he works on safety and security with clients including the Australian Federal Police, the Department of Defence, the National Security College and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
He joined Nous after working in Parliament House, and before that in consulting and as a strategic analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Harry studied classical music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, philosophy at the University of Sydney and international relations at the Australian National University and London School of Economics.
I might find myself cracking a tricky problem in a working session with a Nous team, meeting with a client to understand their most pressing issues or taking a break and doing the quiz at lunch time with my colleagues in the Canberra office.
Pace. Excellence. Impact.
All organisations care about culture – to a point. What Nous does differently is to prioritise culture, which is much harder. By trusting that we get the best outcomes by building a great culture, we achieve fantastic results, and I think enjoy our working lives more as well.
I knew during the recruitment process. I saw first-hand how streamlined Nous’ leadership structure is and I had the opportunity to ask genuine questions of our CEO and Managing Principal Tim Orton. That was very important for me, so I knew then that I wanted to work at Nous.
I have been surprised by the openness of the organisation. I’ve found how candid we are with each other to be surprising and wonderful. We share what we think is working, and what we think we could improve, and we are open with access to people and their thinking. It sounds simple, but it makes a huge difference.
The flat structure helps career progression. When I have something I want to learn or work on, or an idea I think has merit, I can just reach out to the best person in the organisation to talk to. That gives people in Nous the capacity to build our skills, and so our careers, very quickly.
I work mainly in defence and national security, and I believe these issues are immensely impactful and important. I work directly with the Federal Government on how to keep Australians safe and secure, and how to do that effectively and efficiently. It is a privilege, and we are proud to work with clients like the AFP and Defence to do it.
Well, there have been some pretty amazing virtual-meeting moments where things should have been muted but weren’t. But I better plead the fifth…
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